Gay-Friendly St. Louis Lauded by 'The Advocate'

Let it fly, St. Louis!!
Let it fly, St. Louis!!
St. Louis is sooo gay...and that's awesome! So says no less an authority than The Advocate, the nation's longest-running publication for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

In its February issue, the mag's second-annual ratings of the most gay-friendly cities in America name St. Louis the tenth most gay-friendly city in the nation. We held our own -- and in fact prevailed over -- such clear and obvious choices as Miami (No. 15) and San Francisco (No. 11).

The magazine's admittedly not-terribly-scientific criteria synthesized a matrix of data on the city's number of profiles on dating site, our openly-gay elected officials, LGBT-welcoming religious institutions, and Tegan and Sara concerts, among other metrics.

"It doesn't surprise me," says Ed Reggi, of Show Me No Hate, the city's grassroots marriage equity coalition. "We're a really tight-knit community and there's a lot of us here, more than people think. We tend to be open and inclusive -- there's just as much variety as you find in the straight community."

(On Valentine's Day, those famous marriage buses that Reggi and his husband Scott Emanuel charter for same-sex couples to wed in Iowa City will trundle their hundredth couple into marital bliss, by the way.)

The Advocate's story cited TransHaven's Trans Family Picnic in Tower Grove Park this summer as evidence of how wonderfully queer our city is, as well as a big donation from Anheuser-Busch to the LGBT-focused Gateway Business Guild, and St. Louis' Philip Hitchcock being named Mr. Midwest Leather 2010.

And your humble correspondent need look no further than her own social calendar to see that our fair city has a lovely lavender cast: Last weekend's Shimmy Showdown at Off Broadway, a burlesque death match, was awash in friends of Dorothy. This Saturday sees V2, the 30th anniversary celebration for Vital Voice, our city's LGBT magazine -- itself a national institution. And all weekend long, would-be cowboys and cowgirls will be in the city honing their craft at the International Gay Rodeo Association University.

Rock on with our bad selves!!
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